Monday, April 14, 2014

Until You're Mine

Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes
Crown Publishing: 4/15/2014

Hardcover, 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9780804136891

You're alone. You're vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost.
Claudia Morgan-Brown finally has it all. Pregnant with a much-wanted first baby of her own, she has a happily established family of two small step-sons and a loving husband with a great career. But she is also committed to her full-time job as a social worker, and her husband travels often. So when Claudia hires Zoe to help her around the house in anticipation of the baby’s arrival, it seems like the answer to her prayers. But despite Zoe's glowing recommendations and instant rapport with the children, there's something about her that Claudia cannot trust.
Moreover, there has been a series of violent attacks on pregnant women in the area, and Claudia becomes acutely aware of her vulnerability. With her husband out of town for work and her family far away, who will be there to protect her? And why does she feel unsettled about Zoe? Realizing appearances can be deceiving even in her seemingly perfect world, Claudia digs deeper into Zoe’s blurry past and begins to wonder – how far would someone go to have a child of her own?
Riveting from its very first pages, Until You’re Mine is a multilayered masterwork of twisted, psychological suspense. Readers of Before I Go to Sleep and Turn of Mind will be enthralled by this multilayered novel, featuring a twisted plot that ends in a breathtaking and shocking finale.

My Thoughts:

Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes is a highly recommended novel of suspense, terror, and some surprising twists and turns.

A very pregnant Claudia Morgan-Brown is married to James, a Royal Navy officer and is mother to his two twin sons by his first wife. Because he is gone for long periods of time they decide to hire a nanny, Zoe, to help Claudia care for the twins and the soon-to-arrive new baby. At the same time Lorraine, a police detective, is investigating along with Adam, her cheating police detective husband, recent attacks on pregnant woman.

Set in Birmingham, England, the narrative in Until You're Mine is told through the viewpoints of the three women in alternating chapters. We know right from the start that Zoe, the nanny, is suspicious and that everything may not be as she says it is as she takes the job of nanny for social worker, Claudia. Zoe has some kind of relationship with a mentally unbalanced woman who longs to have a baby. Claudia is somewhat suspicious of Zoe but also needs her help with James gone. The twins are a handful and Claudia is still working until her baby is born. Lorraine's marriage is going through a tough time and investigating the brutal attacks against pregnant women is adding to her stress.

I'd have to say that while the writing was adequate, the twists at the end improved my rating of the book. The ending came as a total surprise which redeemed Until You're Mine for me. Up to the ending I was finding the way the voices of Zoe and Claudia were written to be almost indistinguishable from each other - with the only difference simply what they were thinking about. It might have been nice to imbibe them with their own personalities and make the difference between the two a bit more obvious. Lorraine's chapters were easily distinguished from the other two, although some of the side story with Lorraine and her family didn't add to the novel. I did like how the sense of foreboding and dread grew as the novel progressed.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Crown Publishing via Netgalley for review purposes.

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